Category Archives: Resources

using neglected wall space for map hangings

Are You Neglecting A Valuable Resource?

One of the best resources we have in our house?

The vertical spaces. That’s right – the walls.

When the kids walk down this hallway, they are constantly stopping to look at the maps and {maybe less often} the Periodic Table.

Recently, this principle was driven home again. I was looking for a place to hang the Tapestry of Grace Map of the Humanities {Full Disclosure: Even though this looks like a great program, we have decided not to use it because it is just too intense for my level of planning ability.}

I considered hanging it in the den because then you could see it while watching TV. The problem is that once you open the door, you wouldn’t be able to see it. And, it definitely seems that my kids are more likely to stop while walking by instead of sitting there and staring contemplatively at information on the wall.

So, I chose a wall that we walk by, but you don’t really notice otherwise, and guess what!

Within 30 minutes, Rex had stopped and was investigating and asking questions about the Unification of Germany.

So, if you have things on the walls that the kids aren’t looking at, have you considered moving it to a walking area instead of a sitting area? {and, if you’re worried about your home looking like a classroom, well…. it is, isn’t it? But, it if really does bother your sense of style, there are lots of nice decorative maps out there. I’m using the old world style.}

We’ve also had luck using this principle with printing out famous artwork, with the name of the author and the piece below it, laminating it, and hanging them up with removable poster strips. Please forgive the flash glare.

And, don’t forget the horizontal spaces!

It’s super easy to add a World Map to the dinner table {well, maybe slightly more difficult for a round table…} We’ve had great conversations start from just looking over the map. Even mom and dad get stuck looking at the maps. :)

What have been your most successful things to hang on the wall? I’m looking for ideas – so please tell me in the comments!


bonding over beauty

Bonding over Beauty

I know, I know – we always say that beauty isn’t important, right? It’s what’s on the inside that counts. And, yes that’s true – but, I also believe that it is natural for us to want to look our best. We want to put our best foot forward and make a good impression. And, I just don’t think that Bonding over Hygiene would go over as well, do you?

When I received the book Bonding over Beauty, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I guess I was thinking that it would be filled with sleepover type activities for mother and daughter to do together, and while there are some such activities, this book really is so much more.

There are chapters focusing on such areas as hair (both wanted and unwanted), skin care, nutrition and fitness, and yes – make-up. The information given can range from the basic (how to choose a hairbrush) to the more complex (how to color your hair at home) – including some – er, shall we say – sensitive subjects that need to be discussed. Each chapter closes with some bonding activities to do together. I will caution that this book is really designed to be read by Mom and then shared with the daughter – not as a book to just hand to her. (Not to mention, that way you can decide when each area is age appropriate for your princess…) :)

I actually was amazed at how much information there was that was news to me. And, what surprised me more? My Monkey, who is definitely NOT a girly girl, grabbed the book as soon as she saw it and I didn’t see it again for a few days. :) (So, yes we didn’t use it in the intended way either.) I’m looking forward to giving each other some face masks – and maybe even a mani/pedi or two…

Now, for the really fun part – I get to giveaway a copy of this unique book to one of my wonderful readers. Just follow the instructions below to enter the rafflecopter. There’s a daily entry available, so be sure to come back tomorrow.

Entries will close at midnight (ET) on Thursday, Feb 23rd and the winner will be announced as quickly as possible after that. (I can’t wait to find out the winner, either!)

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: I was given a copy of Bonding over Beauty for my honest and unbiased review. The publisher is also providing a copy for the giveaway. Also, some links within the post are affiliate links.

Giveaway Day

Giveaway: Keeping His Way Pure

You know those books that you read and as you read them you just know that your life will never be the same? Well, that’s exactly how I felt as I turned the pages of Keeping His Way Pure.
Here’s the “official” description.
How does a young man keep his way pure?
Psalm 119:9

Keeping His Way Pure is an eBook that clearly outlines the Biblical guide to leading our children into purity according to Psalm 119:9 while providing the tools to help along the way.

This eBook unfolds a four step plan based on King David’s answer. It also offers encouragement to parents who are struggling to hold the heart of their child. 

More information (including an excerpt)

I must admit that this book was not exactly what I expected – thinking that there would be suggestions such as “Keep him away from girls at all times.”  Well, maybe not that strict – but, definitely in a legalistic tone.  But, instead I learned how to teach my son how to put on the Armor of God as well as how to protect him in other ways spiritually. Wow! How much more confident would I be that his heart would be kept pure knowing that he was outfitted with the armor than by my faithfulness at following a random list of rules.
I am also fairly confident that the plan would work for both boys and girls even though the book is written with our sons in mind.  I am so glad that the Lord moved Tammy to provide this information in such an easy to read format.  I love this book so much that I can’t wait to get it bound at Staples into a “real” book with a spiral binding ($5). There is also a section included with scripture for memorization broken down into 3 age groups – enough for 3 years at one a week – this alone would make this a great buy at $4.99!
I really enjoyed this book and wholeheartedly believe that If you have boys, you NEED this book! (and, truthfully, even if you have only girls, I encourage you to get it – much of the information is timeless regardless of gender.) I’m positive that it will touch your heart as it did mine and encourage growth in your own life as well as preparing your children for the onslaught of the world. Keeping His Way Pure is available in both pdf and kindle formats – as of noon today, Jan 30th.   
I am so excited to be able to give away a pdf copy to TWO of my readers. 
The rafflecopter will accept entries until Midnight on Friday, February 4th, so be sure to enter for your chance to win! Winner will be announced here on Saturday, Feb 5th, and will be contacted by e-mail. The winner will have 48hrs to respond or another winner will be chosen.
Truthfully, if I didn’t already have it, I wouldn’t be able to wait to get my  hands on this amazing resource – but, hey – you can still enter and gift it to someone if you win. :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of Keeping His Way Pure in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Giveaway Day

Get Back on Track: The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

I was so excited to be offered the opportunity to review The Money Saving Mom’s Budget by Crystal Paine, and I’m also thrilled to be able to offer a copy to one of my readers.

First a little back story, we discovered Dave Ramsey about 8 years ago (more or less), and we were inspired to work towards getting out of debt. We accomplished Baby Step 1 – put $1,000 into saving for an emergency fund.  And, although it was difficult to keep that $1,000 because Murphy kept popping his head up, we kept putting it back and working towards our goal. In about 2 years, we payed off $15,000 in debt. That was not a fun 2 years by any stretch of the imagination, but we pressed on in large part because we had a clear vision of the goal.

But, with that goal accomplished, we loosened our belts and breathed a sigh of relief. We could now go out to eat again and do other fun activities. But, we forgot to set a time limit for our relaxed view of money and never got started back in earnest to become financially free.

Enter The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

When I received my copy, the first thing that I noticed, at the top of the cover, was an endorsement by Dave Ramsey. Woohoo ~ that means that the principles are in line with what we’ve already learned.

The very first chapter deals with setting goals – which is exactly what I  needed – a shot in the arm to get us going again. Crystal leads you step by step on how to set your goals and then moves into a plan to accomplish them.

I love Crystal’s conversational tone – it’s like sitting by the fire, and sharing experiences over hot cocoa with a good friend.  She goes so much farther than just telling you where you are going, she also comes alongside you and walks you step by step to get there.

I heartily recommend that you accept the Cash Only Challenge.  As a family that has been using cash predominantly for many years, I will absolutely say that using cash makes a difference.  Even compared to using “cash” through your debit card – there is something psychological about actually seeing the money go away.  Each month that we forget this principle, we undoubtedly spend more than we should.

Only Fourteen Hours a day…

When you think budget, I’m sure that you only think of budgeting money – or at least I did. But, she also covers budgeting your time. The wake up call for me that I’ve been spending my time in the wrong places was when she pointed out that once you take out time for sleeping and budget in “margin time” for those unexpected things that always seem to come up – we only have 14 hours to work with each day – FOURTEEN hours! describes itself as being there to help you live on less so that you can save more and give more. And, to show you that it’s not all talk and the heart that Crystal has for helping others – she personally is not making any money from the sales of the book. Not one cent – can you believe that? But, instead she is donating the proceeds of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget to  Compassion International.

Who is this book for? This book is perfect for anyone who is starting out on the journey to become debt free or for anyone who is new to budgeting and needs to know where to start. Anyone who is trying to get control of their finances will probably be inspired by Crystal’s advice.  While there are several things within the book that were new to me, I think that it is most beneficial for those fairly new to the journey.

Who this book may not be for? Anyone who is very experienced with budgeting and living within their means already may be better served by visiting her website directly. But, truthfully, if that describes you, then I’m not sure why you would be reading this review. :) That being said, I’ve been working on a budget for 8 years, and there were still several nuggets of information that would make this book a good buy even for me!  :) Not to mention, this will be my new Wedding Present of choice to new couples.

And, now for the special offer – Crystal has been generous enough to offer a free copy of the book to one of my lucky readers!  To enter, click the large green button by each task for more information, and then be sure to click the green button saying that you did the task.  (This is my first rafflecopter giveaway, so please let me know if you have any issues.) All entries are verified, so please be sure to complete the required task for each entry. ** If viewing this on the main page, you will need to click through to the full post for entries. **

This giveaway will accept entries until midnight on Thursday, January 26th, and the winner will be announced here on Friday, January 27th. The winner will be e-mailed and has 48 hrs to respond or a new winner will be chosen.  Good luck!

And, in the meantime, I definitely encourage you to hop on over to Crystal’s blog where she promises to “help you become a better home economist.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Day

Disclosure: I was provided a copy of The Money Saving Mom in exchange for my fair and unbiased review. Some links within this post are affiliate links which means that I will make a small amt of money if you purchase after clicking the link. Thank you for your support!

Review: Raising Real Men

When I was provided a copy of Raising Real Men for review, I was more than a little interested. I am so glad that I took advantage of the opportunity because this book is definitely going to be a blessing for my family.

Pretty much everything that has ever confused you about boys is covered. Hal and Melanie Young have written an amazing resource, and they definitely have a good idea about what they are talking about as parents to 6 sons and 2 daughters.

I was shocked to realize one of the mistakes I have been making with my 10 year old son. He quite often tries to take grocery bags from me and his sister to carry to the car or into the house, and in an effort to divide the workload, I have insisted that his sister carry some bags herself.  What I should be doing is thanking him and complimenting what a strong, helpful boy he is. What a simple thing to do and yet I can see how powerful it can be to build up his spirit – I can’t wait to put it into practice!

I love the way they cover some of the traits that we tend to want to squelch in our sons such as recklessness and hyperactivity.  They demonstrate how these same traits could be beneficial in their adult lives once they’ve matured.  That’s not to say that our boys should be allowed to run wild, but instead their adventurous spirit should be celebrated!

In addition to warning against the feminization of boys, they also give very real suggestions on how to cultivate chivalry and teach them the proper way to behave as young men.  They can have good manners without being required to behave as females do.

I’ll be honest – there is so much information packed into these pages that I’m going to have to reread the book in order to put it all into practice (and even then I might not get it all), but I know that this book has already started to change the way that I think about my son’s behavior.

The most important thing I’ve learned? Jesus is the ultimate hero and role model that I should be directing Rex’s attention towards. (Of course I knew this logically, but I had never really thought about it in practicality before…) And, we also have to be careful not to present the feminized version of Jesus that is so often presented nowadays.

I absolutely LOVE the poem that they share called the Dream of The Rood.  I am going to be sharing this entire poem with my children, but here it is in part:

I could go on for pages and pages about how amazing this book is, but if you have boys, just know that this book will be an awesome resource and one that I imagine I will be consulting for years to come.

Review: 31 Days to Build a Better Spouse

I recently posted that one of the challenges I am participating in for January is the 31 Days to Pray for Your Spouse Challenge.  First of all, I have to say that I LOVE that this challenge was for January.  For Moon Doggy’s Christmas gift, I printed out a very official looking certificate that “awarded” him 31 Days of Prayer.  It was pretty neat to be able to give him that, and it was definitely a surprise for him.

Ashley graciously provided me with a review copy of 31 Days to Build a Better Spouse. And, while you don’t need it in order to participate in the challenge, I highly recommend getting a copy of this ebook.  For each day, there’s a scripture as well as a directed prayer.    She has also included some commentary and some things to think about and consider about the specific topic you are praying on for the day. Each day’s reading is really quick (as in about 2 minutes), but it’s a great way to really focus your thoughts for the day.

If you haven’t joined yet, I think there’s still time – we’re on Day 3 right now. But, even if you aren’t particpating in the challenge, this ebook provides a great opportunity to focus at least 5 minutes a day on praying for your spouse.

5 dollars & 5 minutes a day to invest in your spouse and in your marriage – What a Deal!

Note: some links within this post may be affiliate links.

Merry Christmas and See You Next Year!

This will be the last post of the year – I am going to be taking the next week and a half to spend time with the family as well as get ready for next year.  I know – it’s sad – I’ll miss you too (so be sure to connect with me on Twitter), but I’ve got some pretty exciting things in the works! What are we going to be up to (in addition to all the great homeschool stuff, of course), you ask?  Well, there are always lots of goals at the beginning of each new year, so I’m joining up with some online friends to really make progress in these areas that are normally a challenge for me.
One of my goals for this year is to have a more inviting, homey – more comfortable – home.  To help me get there, I’m going to be using  31 Days to Clean starting on January 1st. I’ll be sharing about my experiences on my Facebook page, and I hope that you’ll join me there and share your experiences as well.  Don’t forget to buy your copy (only $5!) and we’ll do it together!

Because I need accountability in order to stay on task and focused on my goals, I’m joining the 3 in 30 Challenge next year.  The challenge was started last year to help others just like me (and you) to support each other and help us reach our goals – 3 at a time.

3in30 Challenge
And, because Ashley is brilliant (or probably as she would tell you – very, very blessed), she has started a new challenge for this year.  In January, the 31 Days to Pray for Your Spouse Challenge begins, and I’ve already signed up.  She also has an e-book available called 31 Days to Build a Better Spouse ($5). I don’t think you need to buy the book to participate in the challenge(although I’m sure that it would be a wonderful resource!) Won’t you join me in committing 5 minutes a day to pray for your spouse?

I'm Joining the 31DBBS Challenge

Well, that’s quite a lot to work on to start off the year, don’t you think? To help me accomplish these goals as well as squeeze every drop out of each day, I’ve joined Hello Mornings. Anyone who knows me would tell you in a heartbeat that they can not ever imagine me getting up before the kids – at least not on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I recently told Kat that I would probably be their toughest case ever – to which she replied, “It’s a good thing that God is our case worker.” To which I can only say, AMEN! They have 2 fantastic (FREE) e-books, Maximize Your Mornings and Mission Statements for Moms, to help get you started on the right foot.

And, lastly – I am planning on attending the 2:1 Conference in April.  I’m looking for a sponsor to help with the travel and lodging expenses, so if you like what you’ve read and are looking for someone that would be a dedicated spokesperson for your company, I’d love to talk to you!

2:1 Conference Button
While I’m away, I hope you will visit some of my favorite blogs 
and get to know some great new people.
Holy Mama – This is quite possibly the first blog I ever read and definitely one of the first blogs I ever started reading on a regular basis (several years ago.) I also think this may have been the beginning of when I started thinking about blogging myself, so if you like what you see – you have to thank Kelsey for inspiring me to start.  :)  Kelsey is hilarious and keeps me in stitches. However, I have to admit that I’m not sure how to accept that she’s not on Twitter. *smile*
Adventurez in ChildrearingKelli shares her day to day adventures with her three adorable boys. She especially has some great outdoor activities. But, you should definitely start at Bringing Home Baby and then go to The Greatest Gift – A True Story. Kelli always warms my heart with her true stories.
Get Along HomeCindy shares her opinions on everything from Coupons to the DuggarsPregnant with her fifth child, Cindy tells it like it is – no holds barred.  I love how she is able to cut through all the extraneous noise and focus in on what really matters.
A Slob Comes Clean – are you domestically challenged like I am? Then you definitely want to get to know Nony! She offers such a common sense approach to housekeeping while being absolutely real about her own struggles. Every new article I read, has be nodding my head and thinking “Yes! Yes!”

Money Saving Mom – If you’re like me, you are always looking for ways to save money.  I recently discovered Crystal through Cindy at Get Along Home, actually. *smile* I have been devouring her site over the last few days.

Raising ArrowsAmy has such a wonderful way of sharing how she nurtures her large family, and I LOVE her quote “A gentle voice. A firm resolve. An abundant homeschool life. I suggest starting with her series 10 Days to a Peaceful Home, and then follow the rabbit trails – I promise that you will be blessed. Amy also happens to be a speaker at the 2:1 Conference I mentioned above.

Savvy Blogging – As a somewhat new blogger, I’m always on the lookout to learn new things. This has been my go to site to learn about everything blogging.
There are so many other sites that I love and go to on a regular basis, but I felt like this list gives a nice variation of topics to discover.  And to be honest, I’m afraid that if I start listing more and then I forget one, I’ll feel so bad…, for some more great people to get to know, you can check out my Twitter list: Kindred Spirits.  These are all people that I feel a special connection to.
And last, but most definitely NOT least, come get to know the other authors at the HSBA Post.  I am so thrilled to be part of their team, and if you are not familiar with the Post already, you will be amazed at how much useful information is packed into one site.   (You’ll even find a few posts from me there as we close out this year.)
I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

See you back here on the First!

Note: Some links are affiliate links – Thank you for your support!

Drowning in the Sea of Shoulds

Well, it’s been kind of quiet on here lately, hasn’t it? And, you might think it’s because we’re off having wonderful homeschool adventures, and I was just too busy to write. I wish that were true, but it really couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I’m struggling – really just trying to keep my head above water right now. What could be so bad, you ask? Nothing – that’s what is soooo frustrating! I have no reasons for my being overwhelmed – none at all. So, I’ve been looking for something – anything really – to try to pull me back on track.  As I look around at the chaos, I keep thinking of those wise words that said. “Just DO something.” And yet still I sit, paralyzed by the task ahead of me. Here are some of the strategies that, along with prayer – lots and lots of prayer, I’m going to use to see if I can create a lasting effect.

I’m still not there, but I am trying out Ann Voskamp’s 100 Day Calendarto help me identify 3 new habits that if I were to put into place over the next 10 days would simplify my life. What are my 3 tasks that if accomplished could help to change my entire day?

  • Getting up earlier in the morning (I’m going to move the time back gradually as Donna recommends until I’m getting up before the kids (which I’m afraid of what time that might end up being – ack!)
  • Devotions – I’m working through Power of a Praying Wife right now which might not officially be a devotional but it’s what I need to learn right now. Can you believe that I just happened across this book at Goodwill for $2? Hopefully, I will get to the point that I can put together something like Jamie’s prayer binder.
  • 1 load of laundry a day from start to finish – I really love the idea of a laundry day a la Denise in Bloom but for me, it just doesn’t work. It’s too easy to skip it on the day and then before you know it, we are out of clean clothes. Once I get in control of my household, maybe we’ll give the Laundry Day thing another go.

I’ve also printed out Ann Voskamp’s Joyful Parenting Manifesto and am referring to it frequently to try to become the kind of parent that I truly long to be.

And, I’ve got one more trick up my sleeve. I’m planning on working through 31 Days to Clean starting in January. My heart wants to start now, but my head know that would just lead to frustration to try to start in the middle of the holidays.  Also, by starting in January, I hope that you will join me on Facebook so that we can support each other and share the journey together! If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, you can get the pdf here or a version for you Kindle here. (It’s only $4.99!) For me, the pdf version works well so that I can print it out and have it available to peruse. :) I hope that you will consider joining me because I’ve gotta tell you – I need all the support I can get!

What are some of the strategies you’ve used to pull yourself back on track (or to keep on track) when things just get overwhelming?

Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links – I appreciate your support!

Cyber Monday Deals

First I must apologize for the lack of posts recently. I was arranging a surprise birthday party for my dear hubby and when you add that with Thanksgiving, you get one very busy girl.  But, today I’ve got some great Cyber Monday deals to share with you that you don’t want to miss!

ThinkFun is offering 33% off your ENTIRE order – one day only!

Grocery University one-day sale

Grocery University has a great sale today! We LOVED this program and even as a very experienced couponer, we learned lots of tips and tricks through this wonderful series. Normally priced at almost $25 for the download, it’s on sale until 6am MT for only $5! After that, the price will go up by $1 an hr until it reaches $9 and then will be that price until midnight.  Here’s the schedule:

**All times are Mountain Standard Time**
12 AM – 6 AM: price is $5 (savings of 80%)
6 AM – 7 AM: price is $6 (savings of 76%)
7 AM – 8 AM: price is $7 (savings of 72%)
8 AM – 9 AM: price is $8 (savings of 68%)
9 AM – midnight (or sometime the next morning): price is $9.00 (savings of 64%)

Amazon is offering $120 off of the new Kindle DX for today only so you can get this beautiful baby for only $259 with FREE shipping. The DX includes free 3G wireless: No monthly payments, no annual contracts. Download books anywhere, anytime.

Amazon is also beginning their Cyber Monday Week of Deals with new deals each day as well as lightning deals available. Check it out for some amazing deals!

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links – we appreciate your support in helping us with our homeschool costs.

Review: Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood

Rarely do you happen across a book that just makes your job as a parent so much easier.  Recently I was introduced to a wonderful book that actually has the possibility of doing just that.  I was provided a copy of The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Let’s start with what Beautiful Girlhood is before we go on to cover the Companion Guide. Beautiful Girlhood is a moving book that discusses that uncertain time period for girls between childhood and womanhood which the author has termed “girlhood.”  It has such a gentle and beautiful way of encouraging your budding young lady to embrace her girlhood and not be in such a rush to get to womanhood while teaching her about how to stay pure on the journey. I will say though that it has gotten me a little choked up as I think of my little baby girl growing up.  Although it was originally written in the early 1900’s, it has been updated by Karen Andreola and is a easy read.

So, with all that wonderfulness, you may be asking why do you need a Companion Guide when the main book is so useful.  But, I promise you that this guide has given me the opportunity to dig so much deeper than I would have ever thought to do on my own. Shelley Noonan has developed discussion questions that are designed in such a way that encourages discussion between Monkey and me.  I have already learned about her dreams and aspirations – things she has thought about, but we’ve just never really discussed.  Some questions are also directed towards mom, and it has given me the opportunity to share with her about my girlhood – things that I haven’t thought about in years and certainly wouldn’t have thought that she would have been interested.  What great conversation starters! 

In addition to the questions, there are also ideas for a Bible study to do together each week to find out more about what the Scripture says about the topic being covered in that week.  And, to top it all off, Shelley has also provided a blog with further crafts, recipes, and suggestions to further bond with your daughter during this wonderful and exciting time.  This is also a great resource for bonding with other moms, and I really love the Christian community of moms sharing and helping each other along the way.

And, in case some of this sounds too old fashioned and quaint, and you think that your daughter will find it corny, I want to assure you that my daughter begs to do the chapters together.  She and I have really enjoyed getting to know each other on a deeper level, and I am hoping that this will form the foundation to keep the lines of communication open as she enters that time when so many rebellious teens lose their way.

Thank you, Shelley, for such a wonderful resource that I believe will enrich our relationship long past the 32 weeks of the study – on throughout the rest of our lives..


*note: this post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Review: Establishing the Home Vineyard

I was provided an audio recording of Establishing the Home Vineyard for my honest and unbiased review.
First of all, Shelley Noonan’s voice is very pleasant to listen to. That is one of the most important factors to me in an audio program so that I can listen comfortably to the information given.
I really enjoyed that although some secular sources of business advice were used – that information was still tied to the work of the Proverbs 31 woman. She also used her own business experiences (she has 2 long term successful businesses) to illustrate the decisions in a real way.
There is great information on how to choose the home business that is right for you including questions to ask yourself that are based on the Proverbs 31 woman’s purchase of her vineyard. Shelley has also included potential pitfalls of home business so that you can be prepared.
The biggest surprise, for me, was that I expected this recording to be focused on mainly online business, but I was pleasantly surprised that the advice is beneficial for both offline and online businesses – mostly because it is all based on Scripture which is always relevant. Even as an existing business owner, there were lots of things that made me think and I’m excited to put my new knowledge into practice.

Turn Dinner into a World Adventure

Have you ever read the book Cheaper by the Dozen? I’m sure you have but in case you need a refresher – the dad is an efficiency expert and he used to put educational things all over their walls so that the children could learn while doing other more mundane tasks such as brushing their teeth or er – using the facilities.

I’m always looking for ways to put things up on the walls because I’ve found that my children will just stop and look at it. So, they may just be walking by the world map and something grabs their attention – and, quite honestly, the same happens with Dad and I too :) Having a smallish house, we are always on the lookout for new creative ways to display information. And, recently I happened across a website (oh how I wish I could give credit but I can’t remember where it was) that had the idea of laminating a map and putting it on your dining room table.

What a great idea – especially since my table has bits of the wood covering flaking up due to a very unfortunate experience with clay – but I digress….

So, I went to Staples a while back and they had a Laminated World Map that was the PERFECT size for my table for only $10. I came home and all excited rolled it out and put it on the table. It was so pretty! And, since then, we stopped eating at the table. It became a dumping ground for books and papers.

Why you might ask….well, I didn’t want to eat over it because I knew that it would be a pain to have to clean up under the map should anything spill – and, because we weren’t eating there that made it a prime target for all those odds and ends.

So, now I couldn’t SEE my pretty map NOR did we use the table for anything functional. But, then I remembered something!

I have, sitting in a corner, a roll of plastic “fabric” that I got to cover a bench once. So, last night after we cleaned off the table to play a card game, I decided to fix this problem that’s been bugging me.

First I secured the map with a couple of those Poster Strip things that you can just pull straight and they pop off the wall (or the table) and then I got the plastic sheet out and rolled out just the right amount to make a tablecloth.

I’m hoping that this will make it possible to eat here AND enjoy the map. I think it turned out pretty great – what do you think?

YOUR TURN:  What are some of your favorite ideas to put educational materials in front of your children? 

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